Academics » Instruction & Learning » Instruction & Learning

Instruction & Learning

The Instruction and Learning Department oversees the district's curriculum and assessments.

Dr. Susan Gentile
Director of Instruction and Learning
[email protected]
Susan Gentile
Kayrn Dobda
Director of Innovation & Strategic Initiatives 
[email protected]

Karyn Dobda
Aaron Rea
Coordinator of Instructional Programs

Aaron Rea

Jessica Leety

Administrative Assistant, Instruction & Learning
[email protected]

Karen Smearman
K-12 Literacy Instructional Coach
412-749-5557 x3403
[email protected]

Sandra Calgaro
Instructional Technology Specialist K-5
412-749-5557 x4271
[email protected]

Kieran Vora
Instructional Technology Specialist 6-12
412-749-5557 x5148
[email protected]

The Quaker Valley School District's (QVSD) vision embraces a philosophy towards teaching and learning where classrooms are learning communities that foster a culture of thinking. This vision drives our curriculum development and instructional practices, which endeavor to:

  • Engage students actively in intellectually challenging and important content
  • Develop students’ understanding of the content and related concepts through problem-solving and critical thinking
  • Provide cognitive challenge through “minds-on” instructional experiences

In our classrooms, we strive to create communities of learning where adults and children learn together. We believe that inquiry learning and complex thinking and problem-solving promote lasting understanding. Our curriculum, therefore, reflects our beliefs about the importance of learning experiences that will lead to lasting understanding and the ability to apply and use knowledge in new contexts.

QVSD follows a process of curriculum mapping to develop and refine our curriculum to meet the needs of our students. Our curriculum development process utilizes the Understanding by Design (UbD) Framework.  

Our curriculum addresses the standards outlined by the state of Pennsylvania for all subjects and courses, and programs are continually evaluated and refined following a curriculum review process. Pennsylvania’s standards offer a set of academic expectations that all students should master by the end of each grade level. These standards also reflect the knowledge and skills students need to succeed in life after high school, in both post-secondary education and a globally competitive workforce.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has adopted the Standards-Aligned System (SAS). This is a comprehensive approach to curriculum and instruction that supports student achievement across the Commonwealth. Please visit to learn more.

Curriculum documents that include academic standards to be achieved, primary instructional materials, and assessment methods are available to parents and guardians upon request to the teacher of the course or to Dr. Susan Gentile, Director of Instruction and Learning, [email protected].